No. 1 seed Colorado State Defeats No. 4 Wyoming in Semifinal Action at the MW Volleyball Championship
Rams advance to Sunday's final against UNLV
Nov. 19, 2011
2011 MW Volleyball Championship Central
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Top-seed Colorado State clinched its seventh all-time trip to the Mountain West Volleyball Championship Final when it defeated fourth-seeded Wyoming, 3-0, in Saturday's semifinal at the Johnson Center. With the win, the Rams move on to the finals at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, where they'll face off with seventh-seeded UNLV. The match will be televised live on CBS Sports Network (DirecTV 613).
The Rams took the early lead with a 25-22 victory in the first set before taking a back-and-forth, 25-23, battle in the second set. The Rams led 12-7 early in the second before the Cowgirls rattled off 11 consecutive points to go up 18-12. But CSU was able to reclaim the lead on the heels of three straight kills by Katelyn Steffan en route to the victory to go up 2-0. The Rams closed it out with a 25-20 win in the third set.
"It was a battle," said CSU head coach Tom Hilbert. "This one was really interesting. A lot of point runs on both sides and we survived a 12-point run in the second set which is almost unheard of.
"I think they were really fighting and out defended us and they served the ball tough too," he added. "It was a good match for both teams and I am excited we did good things at the end of the sets because that is what we need to do as we move on into the finals tomorrow and into the NCAA tournament. We need to be a team that is going to win when both teams are above 20."
After scooping up 23 digs in the first two sets, CSU's Izzy Gaulia finished with 26 for a game-high. Steffan and Dana Cranston ripped 12 and 10 kills, respectively, while Deedra Foss dished out 32 set assists. Jodi Purdy and Calli Miller led the Cowgirls with nine kills each. Becky Stewart came up with 14 digs.
The Rams have reached the MW Women's Volleyball Championship Final for the seventh time in 10 years of the tournament. Their last finals appearance came in 2006 when they defeated top-seeded Utah in five sets in Las Vegas. The Rams swept the season series against UNLV in 2011 with a 3-2 victory on Sept. 29 and a 3-0 triumph on Oct. 29.
"UNLV is on fire right now," Cranston said. "We have got to come out with a little bit more passion than them. If they are going to be a junky team, we got to pick that stuff up and play our game."
With the win the Rams' season continues and their record improves to 21-5, while the Cowgirls finished the season with an overall record of 21-11.